Ghost of a Chance

Part Four

Time: 11am
Place: Toronto
Day: 8/5/96

Betsy posed the question to the ghost Mountie as he helped her cross the street--assistance she sorely needed after becoming mesmerized by the bright, shiny traffic light. He hadn't seen Evelyn, however. "Thank you kindly, Sergeant Fraser," she called after him as he faded. "Give my regards to your son."

She meandered down the sidewalk, eyes peeled for wandering spirits. She had encountered a fair number so far, some tagging along to chat for a few minutes before returning to the oblivion whence they came. She had really enjoyed speaking with Melissa Scully, and though the conversation with Tasha Yar wasn't exactly relaxing, she had to admit it kept her awake. She had even been pleasantly surprised to meet Lorenzo and Ironhorse.

Now she was beginning to get very hungry. She had completely lost track of time. If it weren't for Cohen constantly encouraging her, she likely would have ducked into the nearest fast food place and fallen asleep over a pile of greasy wrappers.

Abruptly she ground to a halt, jaw dropping. "What is he doing here?" She would recognize that shower, encounter suit...anywhere. She took a few steps forward.

The intimidating specter cocked its head--or whatever--at her, its "eye" irising open at her timid approach. It made no sound, not that she expected it to.

"Kosh?" she asked, her voice a whisper. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Kosh, is it you in there?"

An eerie melody emerged from the mysterious figure, over which its breathy translator superimposed one simple word. "Yes."

A surge of elation filled her. If anyone knew where to find Cohen's daughter, it would be the Vorlon. All she had to do was get a straight answer out of him.

Yeah, right.

She gave it her best shot. She spilled her whole story, ending with, "So, can you tell me anything? I want to get this over and go home. I feel like I've been walking these streets for a month."

After a brief pause, the alien replied, "You have always been here."

Betsy blinked. She might not be firing all thrusters, but she still knew a quote when she heard one. "Don't tell me," she said, "Vorlon humor?"

The dead ambassador continued to regard her silently.

"Why do I bother?" she sighed. "Look, if you won't give me an address, could you at least give me a hint? Where should I search next?"

She almost thought he was going to ignore her when he turned to float away, but he offered her one last comment. "In fire..."

She shook her head as he vanished. "I've had enough. I'm starving. I'm taking a break right now, and the next place I see that has so much as a--" She broke off, gaping up at the Burger King sign Cohen pointed out in front of her. The words "flame broiled" scrolled through her not-entirely-conscious mind. ""

She dashed into the restaurant with all the speed she could muster and ordered a Whopper. It was her only clue, and she was going to cling to it as fiercely as possible. She took her burger to a table by the window for prompt consumption. She was on the fourth bite when Cohen spoke.

"Betsy," the ghost announced, "someone's at the door."

The NatPacker's eyes locked with those of the phantom on the other side of the glass door and she nearly choked. "Merlyn!" The remainder of her lunch dropped, forgotten, to her tray as she hopped up and went to meet the unfortunate girl. "Merlyn," she exclaimed, too tired for pleasantries, "please tell me you know how to find Evelyn Cohen."

The ghost smiled softly. "Why, yes," she said with her Southern accent. "I like to watch her play."

"Great! Can you take us to see her? This is her mother."

Merlyn nodded and led them through the city, depositing them in front of another cozy apartment building. Betsy was ready to fall at the girl's feet in gratitude, but she settled for just falling. Cohen chuckled. "I'll take it from here. Thank you, Betsy, you've been a true friend."

"Don't mention it," Betsy mumbled in a daze, wondering what she should do now that she had accomplished her goal. She watched as the captain ascended to the apartment and disappeared inside. Betsy drowsily made herself comfortable on the steps until she could think of a better place to catch a few winks.

A man brushed past and stood waiting on the landing, his back to her. Betsy's ghost-trained eyes caught something unusual about him. He wasn't translucent, as the others had been, but the morning sunlight struck him oddly, making it appear as though it shone only on him.

She didn't remain puzzled for long. A few minutes after he arrived, Cohen exited the building, smiling happily despite the tears in her eyes. The man took her hand to escort her and they both waved farewell to the NatPacker before stepping into a light so bright she had to cover her face. "Andrew..." she murmured, knowing how jealous Jennie and several of the other Pack members would be when they found out she had seen their favorite Angel of Death.

"But when do I get to be the one to rest in peace?"



© 1996 Amparo Bertram. Previously published on FKFIC-L.